If you're looking to escape the touristy centre of Valencia (and the prices that come with it) or want to experience the 'pueblo' feel without having to leave the city, a day trip to Benimaclet would be worth your time. Benimaclet was originally its own village, separated by the river, but became merged into Valencia with the city's expansion. Despite this it has managed to maintain much of the original 'pueblo' feel, something you'd normally have to get out of the city for. The Plaza de Benimaclet is a five minute walk from the tram stop and on the way you'll probably notice many bars displaying 'tercio y tapas 1.50', prices that aren't found in the centre. Many of these bars have live music at night. Once you enter the pueblo part of Benimaclet, it's easy to forget you're in a city owing to many car-less streets lined by idyllic little houses, especially if you stumble across the Plaza de Benimaclet complete with its own church. Once you've worked up an appetite by meandering around the streets, why not pick up a paella or other traditional Valencian cuisine from an asador - the cheapest way (around three euros for a portion big enough for two) to enjoy a home cooked paella. You could enjoy your paella sitting in the Jardines del Real, the main park in Valencia only a couple of hundred metres away.
From here there are three options (not including returning to the city centre). Firstly you could follow the Turia (the old river now converted into a park) down to the City of Arts and Sciences, one of Valencia's landmark features. On the way you'll pass the Palau de la Música and walk under many bridges each with its own feature.
Secondly you could carry on out of the city to Alboraya - the Spanish hometown of horachata, a sweet, milkly, nutty drink. I'd recommend the Horchateria Toni for the best tasting and value horchata in Alboraya.
My final option is take the tram down to the Malvarrosa beach (10 minutes away) and walk along the sea front or relax on the sand in the sun.
After doing all this you'll probably be ready to return to your hostel late in the evening, although Benimaclet is worth the visit, I'd recommend staying in a hostel in the centre for travel convenience.
A tip when travelling around Valencia - beware the road sign names. In the city the road sign names are in Valencian but on many maps they are written in Castillan, they are pretty similar but don't go looking for an exact name if you have the Castillan version.
To reach Benimaclet - from the centre of Valencia take the metro (line 3, 9 minutes) or about 30 minutes on foot from Plaza del Ayuntamiento, crossing the river at Puente del Real and following Carrer de Cavanilles.
The Pueblo part is off to the right of Calle Emilio Baro (facing the direction of Alboraya)
To reach Alboraya - take the metro (Line 3, Rafelbunyol - Aeroport) to Alboraya or walk from Benimaclet (about 1km from the metro stop vía 'Calle Emilio Baro' which becomes 'Avenida de la Horchata')
This website has details of events in Benimaclet:
Google map: bit.ly/1145Enn
A gorgeous historic hotel, actually situated on the beach.
A local place to meet friends for a cerveza or tapas on the terrace. Also has a fine restaurant. The hotel balconies have hammocks to laze on, facing the blue Med. Bliss.
The location is absolutely perfect, just next to the Cathedral on the very central Plaza de la Virgen. Lots of quiet little streets and great restaurants in the vicinity, it is the ever charming Barrio del Carmen district.
The central B&B only has two or three guest rooms, which means the proprietors take an hour or so to point out their favorite sights and restaurants on a map.
Breakfast in this wonderfully restored Victorian townhouse is very, very rich and the variety is breathtaking.
Small touches that make a stay perfect: a bottle of champagne popped when entering the door, a selection of teas for the guests' convenience at all times, two large lounge rooms for guests, and beautiful art and antiques throughout the entire house. It is just lovely.
This is a very good chocolate shop and cafe. With a couple of famous names behind it - the brothers Albert and Ferran Adrià. I had a late lunch there - glass of wine, starter, sandwich and two tasting shots of chocolate, all for about £10. Then I went and bought a box of truffles to take home. The chocolate flavours are far from the ordinary as you might imagine! The place is great and somewhere very relaxing to spend an hour over lunch or coffee. It's near the Mercado de Colon which has lots of cafes - but save yourself for this place just round the corner instead. A nice surprise!
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